Handgun, archery and muzzle-loading javelin hunts begin Friday | Kingman Miner Daily

KINGMAN – Friday will mark the opening of the 2022 HAM (Handgun-Archery-Muzzleloader) Javelin Hunts across the state of Arizona, including Mohave County.

The javelina is the second most hunted big game animal in Arizona. This year, 5,775 HAM tags were issued. Javelins are collared peccaries and are not actually pigs, nor rodents as some claim.

Javelins are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat.

They are herd animals and are usually found in groups of four to 12 animals, although sometimes groups of 15 to 30 animals are seen in areas where they are not hunted.

In Arizona, any javelin is legal to take, so sows and boars are available for hunters.

Young javelins are called spawning grounds and initially resemble domesticated baby pigs.

Javelina breeds year-round, so most sportsmen will look carefully before shooting a sow, just in case she has a nest or two with her.

In Mohave County, 100 tags are issued for Units 10 and 18A, 50 in Units 15A and 15B, 100 in Unit 16A, and 275 for Game Management Unit 18B.

Javelins are safe to eat if the hunter is careful to dress them in the field. Do not touch or attempt to cut the scent gland located above the hips of male and female javelins. The gland will come off with the skin. After the animal is dressed in the field, wash the carcass in cold water and let it hang in the shade. The meat will cool in a few hours and make a great table meal.

The HAM season will be open for the next two weekends, ending February 14.

Earnest A. Martinez